Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise

Tour Length
22 days
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US$4439
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May 2014
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12 May 2014
02 Jun 2014
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16 Jun 2014
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09 Jun 2014
30 Jun 2014
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01 Sep 2014
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Overview Reviews
22 days
11 World Heritage Sites visited.
Type: Superior
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ See reviews
Tour Map

You will visit: France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Greece, Turkey

Why fly direct to Athens when you can take your time exploring the cities of Europe on the way? Paris, Venice, Florence & Rome with a little of Switzerland, Germany and the Austrian Tyrol thrown in for good measure. The Road to Athens tour will definitely satisfy your travel taste buds. When you go Greek, chill out on the Isle of Corfu before exploring the capital city of Athens. You’ll finish your trip on a high with 3 days of non-stop sun & relaxation as you sail your way through the clear waters of the Greek Isles.

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Top Offers & Tour Notes

Photo from Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise Photo from Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise Photo from Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise Photo from Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise Photo from Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise Photo from Road to Athens plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise

Itinerary + Backstage Pass & ME Time Optionals

ME Time Optionals

ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Tour Manager in local currency.

Backstage Pass

Your Backstage Pass gives you incredible exclusive experiences you’ll only get with Contiki. From food to accommodation to exclusive access to the best sights, your Backstage Pass gives you unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.

1 Arrive London

Check-in to your hotel after 2pm and the remainder of the day is free to relax before meeting your fellow travellers for your Kickstart meeting this evening. Afterwards why not grab some dinner at one of the local restaurants or take a short walk to explore nearby Covent Garden

2 London to Paris

Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. We travel via World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme, to Paris.

Tonight, the group kick-starts Paris with the ‘Tour of Illuminations’, which shows off the French capital’s transformation into the “City of Lights”. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on the world’s most-recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.

Then get a stunning view of the entire city with included entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui, Paris!

Hotel Dinner

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour
  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Check out Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
3 Paris

Next up: Fragonard! This perfumery has an elegant interior and is a unique setting for a look into the history of perfume. It’s also a chance to pick up some French perfume at great prices.

This town is loaded with possibilities. Discover its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers (neighbourhoods). Get a feel for French flair by window shopping on the Left Bank. Step into the Notre Dame or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre, where you can get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. In your free time, try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many city parks.

Treat yourself to the full Parisian experience with a cabaret show, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne. But don’t stop there – afterwards hit the clubs and finish up your time here with a big Parisian night out.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Visit a French perfumery
  • Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Show
    Euro 123.00
4 Paris to Lucerne

With down-time on the coach, plug in your MP3, chill out to some music and chat with friends while travelling through the scenic wine producing regions of Burgundy and Chablis.

Next stop: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alpine town of Lucerne. Wind down the day with an optional cruise on one of Europe’s most striking lakes, where stunning scenes of the Swiss Alps reflect back across the water.

Feature Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See Chablis & Burgundy vineyards
  • Scenic drive through the Alps
  • See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
  • Lake Lucerne Cruise
    Euro 22.00
5 Lucerne to Munich

Make sure your camera is charged - first up this morning there's a chance to take in some amazing views of the Alps, with an optional cable car ride up to the summit of Mt. Stanserhorn.

Next, we travel past the stony cliffs of Liechtenstein into the capital Vaduz, where you can grab some lunch and eat it in the shadow of the Royal Family’s 12th century castle.

Afterward, it’s northbound to the home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich - a city that blends traditional Bavarian culture and modern lifestyle.

Explore the heart of Munich’s old town with the crew, and head to Marienplatz. It’s a central gathering spot famous for the Glockenspiel - a Gothic clock, complete with 32 dancing figures and 43 chiming bells.

Then get a taste of tradition at a typical beer hall and park yourself at a long wooden table. Order yourself some hearty local food, like roasted pork knuckle, and quench your thirst with a stein of one of Germany’s 5000 brews.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Visit the capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz
  • See the Glockenspiel & Marienplatz
  • Visit a traditional beer hall
  • Mt. Stanserhorn
    Euro 43.00
6 Munich to Austrian Tyrol

Get off the beaten track this morning in Munich - on two wheels - with our Local Guide in a fun bike tour around the city. It’s a great way to see lots more of the sights!

Later we head south, rolling on through the Tyrol’s massive mountains to a cute Austrian village in a region famous for adventure sports.

With a night in an Austrian Gasthof (guest inn), there’s time to do your own thing – laze about or get out for a walk in the surrounding hills. Our resident crew will give you pointers on the best stuff to do in the region and make sure you get everything out of your time here.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Swarovski Crystal World
    Euro 8.50
7 Austrian Tyrol

This morning, fill your lungs with clean mountain air, jump on a bike and get into the region’s outdoor lifestyle with a fully guided optional tour through the Tyrol’s picture perfect scenery, complete with waterfalls and mountain fields. Work up an appetite – a BBQ lunch is waiting for you at the end!

With time to do your own thing, laze about or get out for a walk in the surrounding hills. Catch up on some emails or postcards at the inn or take a gondola up the mountainside for more spectacular views of the area. For something different, pop into the local trout farm.

For adrenaline-junkies, an optional tandem paragliding experience will give you an awesome angle on the surrounding Alpine scenery.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See this pretty mountain region famous for adventure sports
  • Mountain bike tour & BBQ lunch
    Euro 32.00
  • Tandem paragliding
    Euro 123.00
8 Austrian Tyrol to Venice

Start the day with a plunge into some whitewater rafting in an adrenalin-pumping optional activity on the river.

Later on, wind through the Austrian Alps and the Brenner Pass to fairy tale Venice.

Known as the “floating city”, Venice is packed with character, crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Scenic drive past vineyards, orchards & castles
  • Whitewater rafting
    Euro 41.00
9 Venice

Today we travel on our private boat through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city’s historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the Gothic arches of the Doge’s Palace and the expanse of St. Mark’s Square (pigeons and all!) show off Venice’s unique beauty and way of life.

Take some time to explore the floating city and lose yourself in the backstreets. There’s an optional walking tour where you can discover the labyrinth of interweaving lanes, waterways, palaces, piazzi and markets with our Local Guide. You’ll see historic monuments, hidden treasures and the Rialto market – a local favourite for food shopping.

Maybe grab a table on St. Mark’s Square and eat some delicious Italian food al fresco.

Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride & share the amazing experience with your friends - seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!

Hotel Breakfast

  • Private boat through the canals & islands of Venice
  • See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
  • See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
  • Venice walking tour
    Euro 11.00
  • Gondola ride
    Euro 22.00
  • Venetian restaurant
    Euro 32.50
10 Venice to Florence

Wind through the Apennine Mountains and Tuscan countryside to the Renaissance city of Florence, with a stop at the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above Florence, which serves up frescoes, markets and priceless art. After dinner, walk along the River Arno with your Tour Manager, take in the atmosphere and head into the heart of Florence, where you can sit back and relax Tuscan style with a glass of Chianti wine.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
11 Florence

Jump start the day uncovering this open-air museum. Our Local Guide gives you the inside track as the group learns about Florence’s cultural beginnings and explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Then take a look into a skillful demonstration of Florentine leather making and understand this region’s traditional art.

With bargains and bustle, the city’s markets are a great place to hang out. Grab a gelato and enjoy this gorgeous city.

Tonight, there’s a choice of a group dinner - an authentic Tuscan feast. Try regional dishes in a fantastic Tuscan country setting. Then keep it moving with a night out and get your groove on at Florence’s biggest nightclub.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Discover the Statue of David, Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace & much more on our locally guided walking tour of Florence
  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry & Piazza della Signoria
  • Learn about Florence's leather craft with a demonstration
  • Souvenir group photo
    Euro 11.00
  • Space Electronic Disco
    Euro 16.00
  • Tuscan Evening
    Euro 39.00
12 Florence to Rome

Travel through Tuscany’s rustic hills, past the recognisable cypress tree landscapes of this olive oil-producing region, to vibrant Rome.

Stylish Rome oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain’s waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back with a few slices of pizza and people watch.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Special access Rome sightseeing coach tour
  • See the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona
  • See St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City
13 Rome

This morning, make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge with an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then check out Rome’s imperial glory by visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafés and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys.

In your free time, live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Vatican Tour
    Euro 34.00
  • Rome of the Emperors and Gladiators including the Colosseum
    Euro 26.00
14 Rome to Corfu

Pass gritty Naples, see Mt Vesuvius and plunge into Pompeii’s well-preserved past in an interesting optional excursion and retrace ancient history with our expert Local Guide.

Then there’s time to chill out on the coach, crossing through the rugged landscapes of southern Italy, before boarding the overnight ferry to Greece in Brindisi. Check out the amazing 360 degree views from the deck!

Adriatic Ferry Breakfast

  • See Mt. Vesuvius
  • Pompeii Guided Walking Tour
    Euro 19.50
15-16 Corfu

Corfu is all that’s great about Greek island living. You’ll immediately find yourself on “local time”, browsing the markets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and bargaining with the laid-back locals.

Jump on board the Caique Tour optional with a bunch friends for a fun day out on the water. It will give you another angle on idyllic Corfu. Work up an appetite swimming in the secluded spots and then feast on a lunch of olives, salad, cheeses, fresh bread and dips – prepared with ingredients from the Captain's back yard.

Corfu also gives you the chance to dive into action with a selection of water sports, like parasailing, banana-boating and waterskiing. Otherwise hire a car for a deeper look into Corfu and venture across the island to explore some beautiful, remote beaches.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner, Breakfast

  • See the Venetian fortress in Corfu's old town
  • Party in a toga on Corfu
  • Captains Cruise of Corfu
    Euro 36.00
  • Ionian Experience
    Euro 33.00
  • Water sports Corfu
    From Euro 18.00 - 50.00
  • Car Hire
    Euro 55.00-155.00 (cost per day depending on car)
  • Tour t-shirts
    From Euro 20.00 - 30.00
17 Corfu to Athens

From Corfu, head to the mainland and travel to the impressive, man-made Corinth Canal.

Athens is next, a city crammed with myth and ancient wonders, and busy with modern, urban soul. Wrap up the day on the shady slopes beneath the Acropolis with an optional dinner in the rustic district of Plaka, full of traditional tavernas spilling out onto the pavements.

Hotel Breakfast

  • See the Corinth Canal
  • A Traditional Athens Affair
    Euro 36.00
18 Athens

For those who are keen to learn more, there’s a chance to step back in time to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide in this fascinating optional, as you wander around the famous columns perched above the city sprawl.

With a free afternoon, keep exploring this open-air museum. You could honour the birthplace of drama by climbing around the massive Theatre of Dionysus or get the background on Ancient Greece at the National Archaeological Museum. Otherwise, experience Athens’ urban heart, take off into the streets and find a hole-in-the-wall food joint, where you can try the famous souvlaki.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Learn about the birthplace of modern society on a guided tour of Athens & the Acropolis
  • Visit the Acropolis & Parthenon with a local guide
  • See the first modern Olympic Stadium
19 Athens to Mykonos

Today, board a typical Greek ship to Mykonos and take advantage of the amazing views across the Aegean, full of rocky islands.

Mykonos is famous for its blissful beaches and party culture. No matter what you’re after, chances are this island has got it! You’ll soon understand why this happening hub draws people from all walks of life, from jetsetters to backpackers.

In your free time, head into Mykonos town and wander through the maze of tiny streets lined by whitewashed, cube-shaped houses. Maybe grab a table for lunch in the village and feast on fresh local specialties, like olives, feta and tzatziki dip.

Chill for the afternoon with friends on the island’s world famous beaches and cool off in the azure waters. Wrap up the day with a drink at one of Mykonos’ hip bars and watch the sun go down. But don’t stop there, toast the start of the cruise back on board and hit the ship’s nightclub with the group.

Cruise ship Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Supper

  • Visit Mykonos town & see the traditional Cycladic-style houses
20 Cruising to Patmos via Kusadasi

In the morning, wake up to the Turkish port town of Kusadasi. Rummage through the Grand Bazaar and go local bargaining for leather goods, jewellery or local crafts. Otherwise hook up with the group and our Local Guide for an optional excursion to ancient Ephesus, a stunningly preserved city that Mark Antony and Cleopatra once visited.

Our next port of call is Patmos, with its sacred spots and wild countryside. Get the background from your Rep on why this island attracts both pilgrims and holiday makers. Explore the monasteries, traditional settlements and country churches.

Get into the spirit of the island with an optional excursion that takes you to Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage sites: the 11th century Monastery of the Apocalypse and to the Grotto of St. John – the hilltop cave where John the Apostle lived for many years.

Cruise ship Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Supper

  • Visit Kusadasi's local bazaar
  • See the Monastery of St. John on Patmos
  • Ancient Ephesus through the ages – Hellenistic and Roman
    Euro 58.00
  • Religious Visit to St. John’s Monastery – Grotto of Apocalypse
    Euro 47.00
21 Cruising to Santorini via Crete

Today we start the day off with a visit to the biggest of the Greek Islands, Crete.

Choose an optional excursion to the Palace of Knossos where our Local Guide will tell you the story of this 4000 year old mythical Minoan Palace, where the minotaur (half-man/half-bull) was slain.

Next up: Santorini. This island will make your jaw drop with its stunning natural beauty – the result of a massive volcanic eruption. From the water look up at the iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches.

Once we’re back on land, head up the cliff and the twisting stone steps, save your breath on a donkey ride or take it easy in the cable car for views of neighbouring volcanic islands.

Your Rep will fill you in on Fira – dramatically perched on the edge of the crater - as the group explores its narrow streets. Get tips on the best places to pick up a piece of Santorini’s famous jewellery and where to try out the delicious local speciality, domatoktedes (fried tomato balls).

Otherwise head to one of the distinctive black or red sand beaches, and soak up the breathtaking scenery. You could jump on an optional boat ride out to the active volcanic island of Nea Kamini. Cruise past lava formations and get up close to the active crater.

Cruise ship Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Supper

  • Visit Heraklion town
  • Visit the main town of Fira
  • See the spectacular volcanic islands surrounding Santorini
  • Minoan Palace of Knossos – 1st European Civilization
    Euro 55.00
  • Cruise to Santorini’s Islands and volcanoes
    Euro 55.00
22 Arrival into Athens

Disembark after breakfast and transfer into central Athens where the tour ends once you arrive.

Breakfast

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Backstage Pass

Our backstage pass includes all of this and more, and it's free as part of your trip.

Exclusive Accommodation

  • 21 nights twin or triple-share accommodation: 17 nights in hotels, +1 night on board a ferry, 3 nights on board a cruise ship
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with electrical outlets for charging
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges
  • Ferry crossings (tourist class)
  • Fun-filled entertainment on every night of the cruise
  • “Welcome to Greece” information pack

Exclusive Team

  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations
  • An experienced & professional local guide & on-board cruise representative

Exclusive Food

  • 20 continental breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 11 three-course dinners
  • 3 suppers

Exclusive Inclusions

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour
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Me Time

  • Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Show
  • Lake Lucerne Cruise
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On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$201
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Layaway

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